The Big 3, Vendor Lockin

“The three contenders we believe are in the market are Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP,” Bradley said. “Those three companies have superior technology that is kept up to current levels.”

Under cross-examination, Bradley agreed that Verizon could play Oracle against SAP in future contract negotiations if PeopleSoft were merged with Oracle. But she fretted at the prospect since Verizon already has decided to install PeopleSoft across the company. “We would lose either way,” she said.

An IBM executive testifying on behalf of the Justice Department reiterated that Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft are often the only choices for many large, sophisticated companies in the market for applications software. Nancy Thomas, a leader in IBM’s business consulting services group, said Lawson Software and Microsoft are not in the same league. Oracle has argued those companies are or could become major players.

“DOJ: Big three rule corporate market”

Customs have got to hate that kind of lock in. Figuring out how to let them avoid it would no doubt be something they’d pay a lot for. Of course, the solution — making it easy for customers to switch from one vendor to the other, and providing lots of vendors with identical products — is anathema to any Enterprise software vendor. It’s probably beyond disruptive, perhaps, destructive.

Then again, because of that, maybe it’s one of the only ways a little “guy” could make it in that field. When you’re up against the Titans, usually the only thing to do is destroy them.